The Ford Mustang’s Place in History

Posted on October 28, 2017

 

We were at a moving sale of an artist who works on displays for a high end store. She was moving from her formerly affordable loft to a space in a yet to be gentrified neighborhood of Chicago. She had an unusual collection of avant-garde clothes and art as well as kitchen items and a couple of chairs. The kind of stuff my wife is interested in, but my eyes were glazing over. Then I noticed the Mustang logo.

1965? Mustang Note the gas cap in the middle of the back end.

It was on a metal disc that looked like a large hockey puck. I picked it up and turned it over. It’s heavy. I recognized the gasket and the locking ring as a gas cap. The lady didn’t know where she got it, she just liked the horse.

When I got it home, it didn’t take long to figure it that it was from a 1971-73 Ford Mustang. You can see from the photo that the gas cap was located on the center of the back of the car under this badge. Click here to see the eBay listing for this Mustang gas cap.

1995 Mustang

I always liked Mustangs. I had a girlfriend in college who had a ’67. Man, that thing was quick and a lot of fun to drive. It wasn’t really a hot rod, but it zipped around pretty good. Years later, my wife and I rented a shiny blue ’95 convertible on a trip to San Francisco. As we wound around the twisting roads in the mountains of Marin county, a road crew whistled at us. I swear they were whistling at my wife. She humbly suggested they were whistling at the car. She might have been right. It was a gorgeous car.

The first Mustang was produced in 1964. It was the brainchild of Ford Motor Company whiz kid Lee Iacocca. It was an affordable sporty car that had a distinctly different look from other cars and a lot of promotion. Ford projected they would sell 100,000 cars in the first year. They did that in three months. A Mustang appeared in the popular James Bond movie “Goldfinger” And blues man Wilson Pickett immortalized the car with his song, “Mustang Sally”

1971 Mustang

After the first five years or so, sales started to level off. Ford looked for a new design to recapture the old magic. It didn’t work. According to Wikipedia, during “the styling misadventures of 1971–73 the Mustang grew fat and lazy” It gained 800 pounds without additional power.

But the trend at that time was for luxury over speed. At the same time, the Ford Thunderbird, previously the competition to the speedy Chevrolet Corvette, had become a big four door luxury car, closer to Ford’s big boxy Lincoln than to a sports car.

Mustangs have had their ups and downs since then. After the big boys of the early 70s, Iacocca went with a smaller, more fuel efficient Mustang II (The commercial jingle went, “Mustang II, Boredom Zero!) That didn’t do so hot either. But they stuck with it The new ones look pretty sharp, if you ask me.

It seems the Mustang has worked its way into the car buying public’s psyche. I hope they make them for years and years. I wonder if you’ll get the same thrill riding in a self driving Mustang?

In the meantime, please check out my eBay listing for this Ford Mustang gas cap